==="Of apple greens and things...Bachmann Tornado conversion 2" === ==WEDNESDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2012 ==


'The time has come', the Modeller said, 'to talk of many things. Of chips and chaps- and livery lacks, of apple greens and things..."

I'd had in mind for a good long time a conversion for the Bachmann Tornado model, more or less since it had come out in 2009…AGAIN!
In theory there is very little which needs doing to the Bachmann Tornado to turn it into one of the Darlington batch of Peppercorn A1s, whereas the Hornby Tornado model, though more accurate to the real 60163, is not the best starting point for a conversion to one of the originals (unless you were to mix and match parts to get one of the roller bearing A1s; at which point I think I'd beat a hasty retreat for the time being!)
The only thing which isn't right really is the
colour (At this point, it's worth remembering that both Doncaster and Darlington works built Peppercorn A1s).
colour you see on the Bachmann Tornado, being derived as it is from the real thing's livery it carried between 2009 and 2010, was actually a Doncaster apple green shade. Yes, there is a difference (a noticeable one at that) and a much lamented late acquaintance of mine had a particular eye for the colour of the Doncaster and Darlington built batches, commenting thusly that to make it a Doncaster shade you had to "add more yellow".
Certainly, the Bachmann Tornado has more yellow in it than their previous W.P. Allen model (but bear in mind that one model is a decade older than the other).
As it stands in ready to run Peppercorn A1s, we have a rather strange combination of apple greens; whereby the original Bachmann W.P. Allen model is closer to a Darlington specification, and the Tornado model (physically a Darlington locomotive) has a shade closer to a Doncaster specification...! You can see the differences between the two models' livery later on in my blog.
If you're particularly bothered by the shade (and I'm not particularly - hopefully they'll all be too weathered for it to be a big deal), then the only option is a full repaint in any event, and you wouldn't start with a Bachmann Tornado in any event if a full repaint is desired. This conversion avoids a lengthy repaint!

As a case in point, it should also be absolutely no problem to turn a British Railways dark green Bachmann Tornado, or indeed (as I am hoping!) an express passenger blue Bachmann Tornado, into certain other members of the class A1 (so long as they are Darlington built batches). 
The model pictured above, was a second hand purchase for a very reasonable sum. Some bits and pieces were missing or damaged (the top electric light, for instance), and the chimney was cracked through (to be replaced by one of Graeme King's excellent resin chimneys anyway), but other than that I had managed to win a very decent starting point for conversion to one of the Darlington built A1s.
The biggest visual differences come from the use of snap head rivets on one batch, and the traditional set on the other, leading to a very different looking tender and cab sides:


The rivets being very obvious on the Doncaster tender, compared to the Darlington one on the left. 
So basically I have two Peppercorn A1s that are both second hand namely; 60114 W.P. Allen and 60163 Tornado; both in Apple Green. I am switching the other with another. As I said that the original Bachmann W.P. Allen model is closer to a Darlington specification, and the Tornado model (physically a Darlington locomotive) has a shade closer to a Doncaster specification. I will make the W.P. Allen Model into Tornado and the Tornado into W.P. Allen.

Both models were taken apart to remove rivet detail (like Kestrel before them, the model of Tornado actually needs to be a Darlington variant which requires a little alteration), rubbing down and a black primer being applied.

Numbers were removed using the Nail varnish remover method/Cocktail Stick and then replaced with Fox Transfer numerals and then sealed using a light cover of varnish.

The next step was to replace the chimney. Bachmann decided, for reasons as yet unknown, to make the chimney a two piece moulding, where the top half is either the stovepipe or the rimmed chimney, and the lower portion is moulded into the smoke box.
I absolutely despise this arrangement. I loathe it! For me, it has been the strongest bug bear of any model I have owned, and for years I have put up with this strange look at the front end of my favourite locomotive class.
I can only ask "why" this arrangement was thought a good idea, when everywhere else you look, alternate chimneys on other models have been one piece mouldings straight onto smoke boxes. None of this two piece nonsense!
Well, I will put up with it no more! Thanks to Graeme King of the LNER forum, I am going to change all that, by replacing each and every chimney with a cast resin alternative. Graeme has provided for me at little cost, a total of twenty chimneys (and some spare/off cuts too) made out of resin.
[3] As you can see, the offending chimney is sliced in half, and this looks distinctly odd compared to photographs of the prototype. I disassembled 6both models down to the boiler, and pulled off the top of the chimney with a set of pliers (the top pops off quite easily), and then set to work filing down the moulded bottom half. In under a few minutes, you are left with this:
[4] Careful fettling of the resin chimney to shape, and drilling out the holes, is vital for a good fit and authentic look.
[5] This leaves us with this. The smoke box was sanded down with wet'n'dry sandpaper prior to the final gluing down with a few drops of superglue - applied from inside the firebox after sticking the chimney down and into position with a little Pritt Stick. Surprisingly it is super effective. We then spray it with black paint.

The nameplates were dealt with separately, the fantastic Fox transfer etched plates being attached:

To me, Bachmann's back head is excellent for detail, but it only really comes out when painted - here, I have hand painted the back head of the new Tornado model myself. Some further modifications will be made to the cab in the shape of cabinets under the driver's seat.


The tender tank needing rebuilding to better represent Tornado's larger tender tank. I also modelled the cabinet of dials on the right hand side of the tender footplate as well!

The boiler had minor alterations - chimney shortened, dome lengthened - this is hardly noticeable on the model, but it's there! Tornado's safety valves, cab roof, dome and chimney were reprofiled to meet Network Rail's 13ft above rail height stipulation, and so has my model.

There is of course one more thing to remember: the whistle is in fact on the opposite side of the cab for Tornado. You need to remove this and put it back on the left hand side of the cab. The whistle should just prise out with little effort using some tweezers. That is when you are modelling Peppercorn an original Peppercorn A1. For the Tornado model I drilled a small hole into the cab and then replaced the original whistle from the left to the right.

For the W.P. Allen model the warning flashes on the front frames and on the boiler were removed and then transferred to Tornado.

Both whistles were moved from one side of the cab to the other.  

The tender had the extra cabinets of dials removed (the original A1s did not have these) and then they were transferred to Tornado, and, when I go to carve up the coal space, I'll be filling in the gaps with putty. It also appears that I should be painting the back head gloss black, to match the photographs of 60114 W.P. Allen I have and the back head of Tornado was already painted.

The next stage was the tender. It was very difficult but I accepted the challenge.

The next stage of the build for the W.P. Allen model was tackling the tender rebuild. The coal space needed to be lengthened by a prototypical amount, and a new water filler cap needed adding. I started by drilling into the moulded coal at the front of the tender.


A sharp scalpel was used to cut between the drill holes, and several different files were used to produce this finish here. 


I then repeated this method with the rear water tank. 


One thing you will notice is that I have left the curved bulkhead in suite for the moment. This is to allow the tender to retain some rigidity while cutting out, and filing, both ends of the tender down.


Now, do you remember all of those moulded coal inserts that come with the original Peppercorn A1s? How you'd normally throw them away or store them indefinitely? Now they can be useful again!  


By inverting the moulded coal piece, clipping the attachment points, and gluing to the inside of the Bachmann A1 tender, you have the correct length tender space, ready made. I reattached the bulkhead too, and created the water filler cap's floor from plastic card. The only thing missing at present is the quarter semi-circular piece on the bulkhead, but I'm working on a cunning plan for that (for a future update). 


 I added the coal (crushed lumps of real coal) and glued these back down with PVA, straight from the bottle with no diluting whatsoever. The photographs I've collated of 60136 have several shots of it coming out of King's Cross with a much overloaded tender of coal, so this amount is actually rather conservative in comparison!

For the model of Tornado the tender will serve as a spare one. I have a spare Bachmann Tornado’s tender in BR Apple Green with the lettered British Railways. I stripped off the paint and used Bachmann’s shade of Doncaster Apple Green shade to repaint it.

Next came the adding of always helps to have another model around to check where the lining and the lettering goes.

Here, my earlier and proper model of the first 60163 in Apple Green helps with the lining:


The transfers are Fox Transfers - use lots of water, soak up the excess with a cloth or tissue, and use a cocktail stick to position it carefully!

The roller bearing axle boxes were slightly wider than those with standard bearings. For the tender, you might want to experiment by removing the original boxes (but not the springs and hangers), and grafting in the roller-bearing axle box castings from Comet - I leave it to your judgment as to whether the Ivatt LMS-type or the BR Standard appears closest.
The Cartazzi trailing truck will be a bit harder, as you will still need to represent the lateral sliding surfaces. A possible solution is to take the full Cortazzi castings, and saw out the plain bearings (but keeping the thin sliding sections; these are the parts directly in front of each box, facing forward, and resembling three rungs of a short ladder, as here):

{C} Here is the finished article; I am proud of a job well done and how the whole project turned out.

The W.P. Allen model is completed but the Tornado model still needs a few more things that will be covered in a future post, adding of spoked wheels on the tender (as on the real Tornado).
I'll also cover how I added the A4 chime whistle to the right hand deflector.

After those two are done I will be ready to unveil both models at my YouTube channel in a few days or weeks maybe...!

I’ll leave it to you with the final photograph of the day with a special engine who decided to show up at Didcot shed. And which engine is better none other than my newly finished Bachmann 60163 Tornado in Express Passenger Blue.


Until next time, thank you for reading.ere iHere

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